Saturday 26 October 2013

Stringing along

At 'Less is More' this week the challenge is to use string or twine.
Here are some flowers made from Stampin' Up twine. It's a perfect thickness and texture for this technique.
The roundels are made by sticking pins into a circle of card and weaving the twine round them! If I find the tutorial I followed to make them I will add it to this post.

This is tied into a really flat knot, it's a great embellishment to add to a card for a chap!
Here's another card using the same knot!

 This one has a Stampin' Up image, clear embossed and then inked over the top using Sponge Daubers.
This week we've been staying with  our son and his wife for a few days, it was lovely to see them, we don't get to see them often enough. Bury St Edmunds is quite a journey from here, but in the New Year they'll be moving to the south coast, as David will be joining a practice in Worthing, so that will be wonderful! Hopefully we'll see much more of them!

Thursday 24 October 2013


CASology has the theme 'Country' for their challenge this week.
All sorts of things spring to my mind with that word, but the images on these Lavinia stamps are something which I always associate with somewhere rural!

I simply overlapped the stamping, heat embossing in both silver and gold.
Simplicity itself. 

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Keep it Simple

The challenge at Keep it Simple is to create a card that has been the result of being inspired by something or someone. 
Here is a card I have made for a friend of ours whose birthday is this coming weekend. He is a music teacher and composer so I wanted to include some reference to music.

My inspiration was this card from Gillian (Made with Sparkle).
I stamped a piece of black card with the manuscript stamp from Impression Obsession using Versamark and embossed it with white Embossing Powder.
Then I simply cut an aperture with an oval Nestie, cut the card slightly smaller than the card front and arranged the computer generated sentiment to show through the gap.
I was quite pleased with how it turned out!
I have also cased Gillian's card exactly, using the same papers as I really love hers!

Monday 21 October 2013

Tags and Bags

When I was browsing around the Silhouette Studio site, I spotted a freebie file for this bag. I then saw the challenge at CASual Friday was tags and Bags so I thought I would have a go with this cutting file.
I made the bag part as large as I could from a piece of A4 card and adjusted the handle size accordingly.
Once cut, I clear embossed the stars, from Artemio and the splatters, from Paper Artsy and then added the ink using Sponge Daubers.
I finally added a few stamped tiny stars in silver. These were in a £5 grab bag from Rubbernecker stamps from Ally Pally some time ago.
I decided not to decorate the handle and so simply clear embossed it.
The tag is from a Sizzix Bigz die treated in the same way as the body of the bag!
Now... what to use it for!

Saturday 19 October 2013

I just love trees

As a species we couldn't survive without trees and as a crafter it seems to be true for me too. I have a love of tree stamps and have to stop myself from buying them sometimes!
This Poppy Stamps/Memory Box stamp and die set is a fairly recent acquisition, simply coloured with Copics and mounted on a rectangular panel!
The sentiment is from Stampin' Up.
The camera hasn't captured the immense shine from the Gilding Flakes on this one, but I applied them by using some double sided adhesive sheet to the right side of the card before die-cutting the shapes and then adding the flakes and burnishing them once cut.
The background is a very deep blue!
These next two are on the Less is More blog and so details of their construction can be found there.
The trees on this next one were cut on my Silhouette and the deer family are from a Memory Box die

I really like the effect of the tiny SU image on a reasonably large card base. This is a stamp from the set A tree for all seasons. I think it may now be retired.
I could go on for ever making cards with trees, but this will be my last one for this week. It's the old favourite technique where the die cut word and the background are both stamped and one superimposed over the other. I love this effect!
Have a great weekend and do join in with this challenge if you have time.

Friday 18 October 2013


The challenge over at Addicted to CAS has the code word Transparent. 
I chose to do a card similar to one from the DT over there. MY window actually has some acetate in it and the cat is sitting behind the 'glass'! We used to have a little black cat called Bramble who would sit like this for hours looking out of the window!
The sentiment is from Tattered LAce dies, the window from Memory Box, I think the cat is from them too!
The brick embossing folder is from Sizzix.

I was Chic of the week

I was chosen as chic of the week over at Just Us Girls for these cards here
It was a great technique and I really enjoyed making them.
Thank you Just us Girls!

Wednesday 16 October 2013

WOYWW #228

I am sorry to say that since creating the Challenge Blog "Less is More" over two years ago, my time spent regularly snooping around the desks of the world via Julia's wonderful blog, diminished radically. It took me so long to comment on all the submissions to LIM that I felt I couldn't do justice in the commenting department at WOYWW. However, today I thought I would try to join in again and get myself a snoop at the same time.
This is the state of my desk this morning. What is that lot? I hear you say... Well, yesterday I looked outside to see that 'the man wot does' in the garden had thrown out a whole bunch of plants to replace them with new ones and bulbs etc. I thought it such a waste that I went out and had a rummage in the rubbish bag and rescued lots of flowers heads and a few leaves.
These I put between bits of card and ran them through my Cuttlebug, to leave the squishy colours you see here. I use them for backgrounds etc as I love the natural colours they produce.
You do have to have some paper towel on hand to mop up the juice which is squished out and also ensure that the machine is cleaned afterwards, but I think you'll agree that the end result is worth it!
Aren't they fun!
I'm off for a snoop now!

Monday 14 October 2013

Inlaid dies

I spotted a challenge over at Just Us Girls, where they were following a technique explained by Jennifer McGuire. A backdrop is created using strips of paper adhered to another piece of card, which is then die-cut. Another set is cut from plain white card. Both pieces are then used to make two separate cards.
Here are my examples. It was a bit fiddly making sure I didn't lose any of the tiny inserts from around the letters, as what is cut in white is inserted into the striped piece and vice versa.
I find these colours really calming. They were just pieces from my scrap box.
The word die I believe is Papertrey and the butterfly Memory Box.

Here they are separately
I'm not sure which I prefer, but I like the effect!!

Saturday 12 October 2013

Witches and Wizards

At Less is More this week we have the challenge of Witches, Wizards or little monsters, plus it has to be One Layer!
These are the cards I came up with!
A digi from Bugaboo...  they always make me smile! The sentiment is computer generated.
This one is another digi, this time from A Day for Daisies. Isn't he a cutie!
I have a few commission cards to come up with this weekend. Some people do like to challenge me!
I need some inspiration I think!

Friday 11 October 2013

Craft Stamper Blog

Lots of you know that I design for Craft Stamper magazine. Most of what I have published is in the CAS vein, a little unusual for a mag where inkiness is to the fore, but what you may not know is that there is also a challenge on the Craft Stamper Blog.
I have a link on my sidebar. It runs bi-monthly so you have plenty of time in which to prepare your submissions.
The theme this time is  SPLATTERS!
There is an article in the mag with various ways of achieving this effect but any type you can come up with will be great. The only stipulation is that there must be some form of stamping on your card!
This is my sample card for this particular challenge!

I began by cutting out the leaf using my Portrait machine. It comes in two parts, the leaf itself and then the veins.
I inked the leaf lightly with some Distress ink in the palest shade and when completely dry stamped the splatters (from Paper Artsy) and clear embossed them. I then proceeded to have fun with my Distress Inks using sponge daubers. When I was happy with the overall shading, I stuck the veins onto the leaf and inked a little more. I then added several layers of clear embossing. I think this leaves a good finish to the edges of the shape being embossed.
The background is a piece of lightly inked, dry embossed card using a Stampin' Up folder.
The sentiment is from Alley Way Stamps.
Simple and fun!
Why don't you give this challenge a try!

Sunday 6 October 2013

Chevrons and Sequins and Autumn

No stamping on this one!
I simply cut the chevron/zig zags with dies from Dienamics, from some manuscript and black card. The sentiment is a die from Papertrey and the cat was cut on my Silhouette! He looks very interested in the music!
A few sequins were added and that's about it!
The components are from the challenge at CASual Fridays!
This is a simple thanks card using leaf stamps from Technique Tuesday. They were inked with a variety of colours of Distress inks and then when allowed to dry a little, the colour was pulled over the images merely using a water brush. They were stamped on their relevant shapes cut on the Silhouette. The sentiment die is from Simon Says Stamp.
It's for the Autumn/Fall challenge at Addicted to CAS

Saturday 5 October 2013


The challenge over at CAS on Sunday is for a shaped card.
I decided to try to make a card from an elephant cut file which I bought from Silhouette. I enlarged it, copied it,  flipped one of them and then welded to two shapes together. His ear was a complete cut out shape and not quite knowing how to eradicate one part of the ear shape I merely discarded that and drew another so that it would just flap and remain attached on the front edge.
He's stamped with a Crafty Individuals crackle stamp in Memento London Fog and then dusted with Weathered Wood Distress Ink. I've sort of obliterated his toes with my watermark, but I made them from tiny punched half circles. His eye is made from die-cut detritus.

White on White Christmas

The challenge at Less is More this week is for a white on white Christmas card. 
What fun!
Here are more of my dies on their first outing! Both are Memory Box.
Each is lightly twinkled and mounted on a background embossed with Random Dots from Cuttlebug.
I'm entering this one for the Keep It Simple Challenge of All is White

Details of these next two are on the Less is More Blog!
I love these little Chickadees. The legs are so unbelievably long and so darn cute!
Have a great weekend and do join in the challenge at Less is More!

Thursday 3 October 2013

A second black and white card

I seem to be in Black and White mode today. Here is my second card This time for Seize the Sketch.
It's quite an interesting sketch I think and for it I used lots if scraps.
I found this embossed piece of card from a Nellie's Choice folder and made its mount from a scrap piece of card from my Portrait cutting machine. (There are sword shaped holes in the black mount!) The butterfly is stamped and die-cut with a Clearly Besotted set and the sentiment from a Tattered Lace die.
My nails have been breaking madly recently, maybe related to the fact that I've returned to Slimming World in order to lose some cruise pounds! My diet contains fat less fat and I think this has an effect! I'm off to have them manicured and painted with a shellac polish! Maybe that will protect them a little.

Use a fence

As I was sauntering around blogland I saw the challenge from Little Red Wagon which was to use a fence. Quite some time ago I bought a fence die and until today it had never been used, so I was really grateful for the opportunity!
This is merely a study in black and white with a little added twinkle.
The fence is a mini picket fence die from Poppy Stamps, the trees from a Dee's Distinctively die and the sentiment from  a freebie set from a magazine. I embossed the sky part with a random dots folder from Cuttlebug.
The dear little Chickadee is a stamp from Technique Tuesday. I was rather upset to have to pay customs duty of £3.18 as the value of the stamps in my package was 39 pence over the allowance of £15. To add insult to injury I had to pay a handling charge of £8... it is a dear little bird isn't it!
I also bought the cut  files for these stamps and this is what I used to cut him out on my Portrait! He's just gently twinkled with Glamour Dust.
The story of the tooth abscess continues!
Having had the first root canal treatment which didn't cure it, I had a course of anti-biotics, which were also ineffective. I then had a second root canal treatment, which also failed to get rid of the infection. This was followed by a stronger anti-biotic, but still the problem persisted. Yesterday I had another treatment and hopefully this time it will be cured. My dentist, who is a superb dentist I might add, informed me that the product he had used effectively for this type of treatment for many years had been discontinued by his supplier and he had tried an alternative. He now has managed to source the original product from elsewhere and hopefully it will be the end of my problems. Watch this space!